Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Chuck - Season 3.5

In its first season, Chuck was good but it always seemed like it should have been better. During the second season it started firing on all cylinders, especially near the end of the season.

At the end of season 2 they shook things up a lot. The original premise was that a slacker computer nerd had a confidential database in his head. He had a pair of agents guarding him and running missions based on the information in his head. There was always some plot contrivance so that he had to come along, even though he was untrained. There was also a long-running almost-romance between Chuck and Sarah, one of the agents.

Season three shook things up. Chuck got a new set of information including abilities and the season was devoted to him becoming a real spy.

Originally NBC ordered a short season of 13 episodes. Part-way through production they expanded the order by six episodes. Apparently the scripts were already in place when the expanded order came through. This resulted in a season 3.5.

At the end of the original season 3, Chuck was finally a real spy and finally got together with Sarah. There was a break of a couple of weeks and things picked up from there.

Often when a series is based on will they/won't they, the series declines when they finally do. Moonlighting and Remmington Steel are prime examples. This is not a hard and fast rule. Cheers had its best days after Sam and Dianne got together.

Chuck seems to have improved again. Instead of concentrating on Chuck's ineptness, it is exploring his relationship with Sarah.

The show has always had a strong supporting cast between Chuck's sister and her husband and his co-workers. This is also continuing as Casey, the other agent tries to train Chuck's best friend, Morgan. While Chuck was a slacker with potential, Morgan is a genuine idiot. This relationship promises to continue any comic relief that was lost when Chuck became competent.

In the meantime, loyal fans formed flash mobs yesterday to try to get the show renewed. With the Leno disaster leaving NBC with a gaping hole in its schedule, the bar may be lowered. At the same time, Chuck's ratings are up a bit so it may make season four, yet.

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